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Hanukkah Music

Here are some of Cantor Green’s favorite Hanukkah melodies. We hope you enjoy some beautiful new music this time of year!

Recording of Cantor Green's November 19 class, Beyond “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel”, the Music of Hanukkah

Feel free to download this song sheet with the lyrics to these songs and other traditional melodies.

Light These Lights (Friedman)

Light these Lights is found on Debbie Friedman’s Hanukkah album, released in 2001. Debbie Friedman was a Jewish singer-songwriter who influenced Jewish music to this day. She took old texts and set them to contemporary and powerful music, changing the way we understand Jewish worship music.

Heavenly Light (Styles)

Heavenly Light is found on Beth Styles’ album of Shabbat and Holiday music. This new setting of the Hanukkah blessing is haunting and reminds us of the purpose of Hanukkah – light.

Maoz Tzur (Anonymous)

Written in the 13th century, this traditional Hannukah melody reminds us that the Jewish people have time and time again been subject to persecution and with help from God, miracles can happen and we continue to survive. While the first verse is about Hannukah, the subsequent verses reflect other stories in which, through miracles, God helped the Jews survive tough times. This version, sung by Leslie Odom Jr. and Nicolette Robinson, is a new interpretation of the classic tune. 

Haneirot Halalu (Six13)

Six13, a Jewish a cappella group, often writes original holiday music, following in the footsteps of the Maccabeats. The lyrics are based of off the poem Haneirot Halalu that is typically said right after the Hannukah candles are lit. This poem gives us a good synopsis of the story of Hanukkah, so that every night as we light the candles, we recall the miracles of Hanukkah.

Not By Might (Friedman)

During Hannukah, we read from the book of Zechariah, which tells us, “Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit.” Debbie Friedman wrote a setting to these words, which we often associate with any time in history where Jews were struggling to survive, but overcame all challenges through the help of God.

Neis Gadol Haya Sham (Kline)

This simple, easily accessible melody is the perfect song to sing while you play dreidel around the table! It is catchy and only uses the four words found on the dreidels themselves.

Al Hanissim (Six13)

This original melody is based off the text that we read only on Hannukah during the Amidah. Like the other poetry, it discusses the heroism of the Maccabees and the miracles from God.

Tue, November 24 2020 8 Kislev 5781